News Update Dec 2010 / Jan 2011 Issue 77

News Update Dec 2010 / Jan 2011 Issue 77

Friday 14, January 2011

A look back at 2010, a look forward to 2011

Dear Valued Customer,

2010 has proved to be the year when there has been a lot of talk of austerity, 2011 is when the measures will be taking effect.

However, many of our clients are experiencing rapid growth from the wise decisions they have made in relation to their online strategy and I am pleased to report that the web systems we provide experienced a further 60% increase in activity across our network during 2010 compared to 2009. Our network is responsible for handling in excess of 3.2 million visitors, culminating in excess of £3million online transactional value with non web transactional processes approaching £40million!

We have some really exciting developments lined up for 2011 with a summary of what are great online marketing techniques (see the online marketing section below – clients only), plus new tools available to make the most of that web traffic.

An alternative to our email marketing system Mail Manager is already available and known as ‘Broadcast’, with the following benefits;

  • Create and send email campaigns – Import your custom HTML and CSS with a single click and use our integrated testing tools to make sure they look great in all email programs
  • Manage lists and subscribers – We take all the pain out of list management by handling the messy stuff like bounces and unsubscribes automatically
  • Reporting and analytics – Great looking reports that let you measure the effectiveness of every campaign you send. Go beyond opens and link clicks and measure your campaign related sales, conversions and ROI with the Google Analytics integration option.

Follow this link to see BroadCast in action.

Our clients will also be benefiting from upgrades to our Content Management System (CMS) and ProMan (Project Management System) during 2011, including;

  • Better Image Management – easily identify unused images, list files in which images are used, and more
  • Support ticket system – with easy online tracking of support issues raised
  • Better ProMan integration – easier interfacing to our Project Management software allowing easy tracking of current projects

A review of the key trends of 2010 and predictions for 2011:

Social SEO
The focus will shift from searchable information to social and share-able information, as social media referrals close the gap on search traffic. In 2010, we saw social media usage continue to surge globally. Facebook alone gets 25% of all U.S. pageviews and roughly 10% of Internet visits. Instead of focusing on search engine optimisation (SEO), in 2011 we’ll see social media optimisation become a priority at many news organisations, as they continue to see social media sources close the gap on referrals to their sites. Are your sites making the most of social referrals, by integrating the available sharing tools?

Mobile Web
2010 was the ‘year of the mobile’ for news media, especially if you consider the iPad and other ‘tablet’ PCs as mobile devices. The social web phenomenon looks set to shift to the mobile web during 2011, given that some 85% of mobile phones to be sold in the coming year will be so-called smartphones, allowing around 70% of the world population to have internet access via the mobile network. The availability of free mobile apps via Android, iPhone and Symbian to interface with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter is increasing rapidly. Perhaps the most notable sign of things to come is News Corp’s plan to launch The Daily, an iPad-only news organization that is set to launch early 2011. Mobile users provide new challenges for site owners in terms of page design, device compatibility and ergonomics, if these massive new markets are to be tapped.

Third-Party Authentication Services
Many users prefer the convenience of logging in to various sites with one, authenticated set of credentials, and technologies such as OpenID, OAuth, SAML and others. After a slowish start, this trend will see more general acceptance, as more online users will turn to services based on these and similar technologies such as PayPal Identity Services, Facebook Connect or Google Friend Connect instead of direct registry and log-in.

Real-Time Analytics
Applications that come with real-time data and statistics capabilities have accelerated the demand, and it seems probable that 2011 will see more uptake. Even Twitter is set to introduce a real-time analytics service. Implementing for example, Google’s powerful analytics to your website allows you to not only track page views but also sales, conversions, visitor platform and much more.

Social Web TV
Many have shown an interest in bridging the connection between online users and the offline world in real-time, allowing TV viewers to interact, for example by posting tweets. At the MTV Awards, Twitter claimed that it wants to be the real-time TV channel of the new decade. In 2010, many people were introduced to Internet TV for the first time, as talk about Google TV, iTV, Boxee Box and similar services made headlines across the internet. In 2011, the availability of Internet TV will change television not only the way content is presented, but it will also challenge the dominance that broadcast TV has had for years in capturing advertising spend.

Location-Based Services
Following the mainstream acceptance of the mobile web and applications, along with the location-aware hardware in mobile devices, uptake of location-based services looks set to boom, which may prove an opportunity for mobile advertising and monetisation schemes. In 2010, we saw the growth of location-based services like Foursquare, Gowalla and SCVNGR. Even Facebook entered the fray by introducing its Places product, and Google launched HotPot, a recommendation engine for places and began testing it in the USA. Currently only about 4% of online adults use such services on the go, but with the proliferation of location-aware devices, these services seem set to attract more users. For example, expect to see news organisations implement location-based news features into their web pages and mobile apps.

Blogging remains as good as the content within it so while this can help to increase the bottom line, blogs need constant maintenance and careful application of content to help produce consistent conversions. In particular, integration of blogs with social media sites (see above) has multiplied their potential penetration.

If you are looking for informed advice about any of these new technologies, proven and reliable mission critical hosting, and support for your online presence then look no further.

I hope you enjoy reading this newsletter and we very much look forward to working with you in the coming 12 months, so here’s wishing you a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous 2011.


David Morgan

David Morgan (Managing Director)